Portsmouth professor reveals secret to staying safe in cold weather - drink plenty of water
Elderly people are being warned to stay inside as the cold snap begins to bite - and have been told to stay hydrated.
Temperatures across the region are expected to plummet to a bone chilling -5C today as people brace themselves for more bleak winter weather — set to last into the early part of March.
Pensioners aged 75 and over are at greatest risk of suffering and are being urged to wrap up, avoid going outside and to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Professor Mike Tipton, an expert on the impact of cold weather on the body from the University of Portsmouth’s Sport and Exercise Science department, said the elderly were particularly vulnerable to any sudden change in temperatures.
‘There are normally a lot more deaths in the winter months compared with other seasons, with most of those dying being the elderly,’ he said.
‘Those aged 75 and over are especially at risk with the rapid drop in temperatures giving rise to a cascade of different responses that can prove deadly, such as blood clots and respiratory complaints.
‘The elderly should stay in and keep warm and hydrated over this period. If they need anything then friends and relatives should offer to go out and get it for them. For everyone else it is important to dress appropriately and wear warm clothing.’
Dr Tipton explained why dehydration — more often associated with hot weather — could be a danger in freezing conditions.
‘It is easy to be dehydrated in the cold weather as all the moisture is taken out of the air and consequently leaves the body which significantly increases the possibility of a clot forming or a respiratory problem,’ he said.
Dr Tipton also explained that hands and feet feel the cold most as blood rushes to the centre of the body to protect major organs.